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January 18, 2018

Gelato Fiasco scoops up two new hires for growing management team

Photo / Tim Greenway Joshua Davis, co-founder and CEO of Gelato Fiasco, said the company has no trouble finding talent, in part because of the brand's growing popularity. The company announced two new hires this week to its growing management team.

Fast-growing Brunswick frozen-dessert maker Gelato Fiasco Inc. has added to its management team with two new hires and CEO Joshua Davis is promising there’s more to come.

“We had hundreds of applicants” despite the challenge of recruiting in today’s full-employment environment, Davis said in a Wednesday phone interview.

He attributed the unexpectedly high response to the brand’s growing popularity, saying, “I think people know the brand and they’re familiar with it, and I think a lot of these people were customers and fans of the product anyway. When they saw the opportunity, they jumped at it.”

Davis and Bruno Tropeano founded the company in 2007.

Becoming more professional

Gelato Fiasco’s newest hires, announced on Tuesday, are for completely new positions as it seeks to make manufacturing more professional.

Jonathan Davis (no relation to Joshua) has been hired as supply chain manager. He will manage procurement for the high-quality ingredients needed to produce more than 12,000 pints daily at Gelato Fiasco’s Flavor Foundry in Brunswick for distribution to more than 5,000 grocery stores nationwide.

Davis was previously employed as the town administrator for the Town of West Bath, a manager for Lockheed Martin, and in private diplomatic security in Jordan and Iraq. He was also a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces, and is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University and lives in Bath.

Interestingly, the veteran was hired for a position different from the one he had originally applied for in customer service after “we realized his talent was really more in the supply chain,” said Joshua Davis. So far, he’s been impressed with the newcomer’s level of professionalism and attention to detail.

The other new addition to the management team, Jonathan T. Dyer, is the quality assurance and quality control supervisor, responsible for designing food safety policies at the Flavor Foundry, an FDA-inspected facility.

Dyer was previously a scientist and manager at The Alchemist Inc. in Belgrade Lakes, and A&L Laboratory Inc. in Auburn. He has more than 30 years of experience in laboratory operations and development, including designing standard operating procedure and Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HAACP) compliance policies. Dyer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Western New England College and lives in Belgrade Lakes.

Gelato Fiasco has a workforce headcount of 50 to 65. It recently hired Julie Francis as its office manager.

'On track' for $10M in 2018 sales

Courtesy / Gelato Fiasco
Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato is one of seven new Gelato Fiasco flavors due to be unveiled at this weekend's Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. It's described by the company as a “bourbon-spiked butter pecan gelato with a generous sprinkling of whiskey-soaked buttered pecans.”

Davis, a 2016 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year in the small business category, says the company is “on track” for $10 million in sales this year, as he told Mainebiz last June, and expects to be in 6,000 U.S. grocery outlets by summer.

The company says it’s the fastest-growing gelato pint brand in U.S. grocery stores.

“The bulk of our sales are now outside Maine,” Davis said, adding that Florida is now its largest single state market, while California also accounts for a big chunk of sales. “We probably sell as much outside New England as inside New England,” he said.

He said there’s constant pressure to come up with new flavors, including seven that will make their formal debut at the the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this weekend. They include Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato, Double Caramel Cookies & Cream Gelato and the triple-dough Doughing Me, Doughing You Gelato.

Davis, for whom living above the store and scooping every night in the early days remain “very recent in my memory,” said that every region has a local favorite brand, and that Gelato Fiasco is one of the few to be successful outside its home base.

“A brand from Ohio or Illinois doesn’t quite have the same cachet as a brand from Maine,” he said. “Maine is where the good things come from, where the cows are happy and where the quality is from.”

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